❉ Ange Chan previews the band’s new single as they return to the light.
“this is a way to offer something new to keep people up to date with where we are with Fiat Lux at a point when we would otherwise have been stuck in limbo.” – Fiat Lux’s David Crickmore, in conversation with We Are Cult‘s Ange Chan.
In these strange times we currently find ourselves in, we have all had to adapt about how things are done, in order to maintain our lifestyle. The way we enjoy music, at the moment, has changed dramatically; physically attending live music events has been substituted with some artists performing acoustically via YouTube or Zoom, or by streaming previously unseen concerts for our living room delectation, often for free.
Whilst this has been a most welcome inclusion to our isolation with some positives thrown in (comfortable seats with a great view of the stage, no jostling or people having lengthy conversations in front of you when you’re trying to enjoy the show, no queues for the loo or the bar, and no onward journey home or hotel bills to contemplate). On the flipside, the joys of new and live music have equally been sadly missing (meeting your friends and making new ones, the atmosphere of a gig, the joys of the venues, and deliberating over the merch stand to name but a few). Fiat Lux have been keeping busy by writing a new single, each from their own homes and by the wonders of modern technology, their individual efforts have been brought together.
Fiat Lux were one of the last bands I saw performing live before the lockdown, which was followed a couple of weeks later by the announcement of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown hitting our shores. On 6th March I made the long journey up the A1 to Leeds to see them supporting China Crisis at the Brudenell Social Club. It was an excellent performance by both bands and the memory of it has kept me hopeful that we will all soon be back watching our favourite bands in a live setting once more. Fiat Lux had a gig scheduled on 16th May at Halifax which has been postponed to October, and I’m remaining hopeful that this will still go ahead at that time.
In the meantime, Fiat Lux are now releasing (How Will We Ever) Work This Way. It’s the first single from their yet unnamed forthcoming album. Steve Wright and David Crickmore were working on the new album before the lockdown was announced so they had vocal recordings from those sessions to work with. They then found a way of getting Will Howard’s sax parts remotely, without him having to visit the studio. The whole thing was then cleverly mixed together remotely to complete the song.
Chatting to Steve, he told me that if it hadn’t had been for the lockdown it was unlikely that Fiat Lux would have brought this single out at this particular point in time, due to the album currently being a work in progress. David added, “We thought it would be an ideal way of keeping things current with our audience until we could make more progress in the studio and return to live work. So, this is a way to offer something new to keep people up to date with where we are with Fiat Lux at a point when we would otherwise have been stuck in limbo.”
So, what’s the song about? Steve told me that when they were in the studio pre-lockdown, David was playing a melody and Steve just started to ad lib the words on top. It seemed to fit, so he quickly scribbled them down. As the song was developed, it seemed to take on a darker mood changing How Can It Ever? to How Will We Ever making them seem like a more personal set of words. No explanation has been offered to the actual meaning of the lyrics so you, the listener, are invited to draw your own conclusions!
David said, “I think the main point about the single is that it’s coming out of lockdown and that the theme of it seems to chime strangely with that, even though the initial idea lyrically came before it; Designer Lee immediately saw this without us prompting him and came up with the sleeve which sharply brought it into focus with the times.”
The artwork was designed by Lee Walsh who has had a long-term association with the band having previously designed the artwork for the album Arc of Embers, and singles Secrets (2017) and It’s You.
The song itself opens with a funky guitar riff which is unmistakably Fiat Lux in the 21st Century, making it a ‘classic Fiat Lux’ song with a modern twist. Following the brief intro, Steve’s lyrics then feed into the song with minimal musical harmonisation, enabling you to focus on the words, “how will you….”. Will’s sax feeds into the mix through to the middle eight, when the lyrics give a little more to a darker edge hinting at darker times in the past, to the song’s percussive backing. As the melody progresses the lyrics of the chorus now take on a slightly different slant with “I won’t waste our time…” being repeated as if drilling the point home, and then fading to the end of the song leaving you thinking about the meaning of the words once more!
Fans new and old will certainly be delighted with this funky new song by Fiat Lux, their first single release since Everyday in Heaven in February 2019. Since that time, they have put on four shows since their initial comeback show last October in Bradford. All being well, the next Fiat Lux “An Audience with…” show is currently scheduled for Saturday 25 September at The Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham. Watch this space!
❉ ‘(How will We Ever) Work This Way’ was recorded at the Splid Studios and is due for digital release on 19th June via Proper. There are currently no plans for a physical release.
❉ Ange Chan is a regular writer for We Are Cult and has published six volumes of poetry and two novels of contemporary fiction. She is currently also working on a long-standing project of her third novel Champagne Flutes and Pixie Boots.
Header image: © Paul Mawson Photography.